This article was originally published for Curious Cuisiniere.
Kueh dadar is a sweetened, rolled-up coconut and pandan crepe that’s commonly found as a snack in Southeast Asia. In fact, it’s known by many names in the region: kueh katayap, dadar gulung, kueh langgang. It’s all the same thing!
FIRST, WHAT DOES “KUEH” MEAN?
Kueh/kuih is a broad Malaysian term meaning a snack, or bite-sized dessert, usually made with some type of rice or glutinous rice. It can be sweet or savoury and eaten at any time of day.
INGREDIENTS IN KUEH DADAR
Kueh dadar is a green, pandan-flavoured pancake filled with grated coconut, and sweetened with palm sugar (also known as gulu melaka).
Kueh dadar contains:
- pandan extract
- coconut milk
Pandan (screwpine) is the ingredient that makes the pancake/crepes green.
WHAT IS PANDAN?
Pandan is also known as screwpine and is a tropical plant that is native to Southeast Asia and India. It is a plant with blade-like leaves and exhibits a characteristic and pleasant aroma that is shared with jasmine and basmati rice.
Pandan flavouring is very common in Southeast Asian cuisine, sometimes referred to as the “vanilla of Asia.”
HOW PANDAN IS USED
It is used to flavour not only sweet foods, but also savoury foods. For an Asian riff on waffles using this flavour, I have a recipe for Pandan Mochi Waffles on my blog.
The green pandan leaves are very tough and are either used in two ways:
- tied in a knot and added into a liquid to extract its flavour, or
- blended up in a blender with liquid and then strained to extract the juice.
As pandan is not native to North America, the leaves are usually frozen in shrink wrap.
Another way to get this exotic flavour is through pandan extract, which is sold in small bottles at specialty Asian grocery stores. These pandan extracts do typically contain green food colouring to help with its naturally green hue. If you’re not able to find fresh or frozen pandan extract where you are, you can substitute it with vanilla extract.
WHICH TYPE OF COCONUT TO USE FOR KUEH DADAR
You can use grated fresh coconut, or frozen coconut that’s already grated.
Fresh coconut is the one you typically see with the brown husk in the shape of a small bowling ball. On the inside, the coconut meat is white and firm, and filled with clear-coloured coconut water.
Young coconut is light brown in colour and has more of a cylindrical shape with a pointed top. The meat inside is white, soft and jelly-like. Since this recipe calls for grated coconut, the flesh of the young fresh coconut would be too soft for this application.
Frozen coconut is usually found packaged in Asian supermarkets. It is usually grated quite thickly. If you don’t have access to fresh or frozen coconut, dried or desiccated unsweetened flake coconut would work as well.
HOW TO MAKE KUEH DADAR
Traditionally, kueh dadar are large rolled crepes, about 8″ in diameter. But I’m going to make mine mini-sized, because isn’t small food cute?
For my mini kueh dadar, we will double up on the pandan flavour by first infusing pandan leaves tied in a knot while simmering with the grated coconut for the filling, and secondly, using pandan extract in the crepe batter.
As with pancakes or crepes, we’ll cook the batter on one side in a round 5″ or 6″ frying pan for 2 minutes, and then cool on a cooling rack.
Tip: The trick to getting a smooth surface on the crepe is to only cook it on one side (without flipping).
After cooling, place the pandan-infused grated coconut in the middle of the crepe and roll up like a spring roll.
It’s best eaten at room temperature within 1-2 days. You can serve it as a snack on its own, or with tea.
OTHER PANDAN RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE
Be sure to check out my recipes with pandan flavouring:
Let me know if you try out this recipe — tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Mini Kueh Dadar (Coconut Pandan Rolled-Up Crepes)
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 454 g shredded/grated coconut
- 2 discs (100g) palm sugar (or dark brown sugar)
- 2 pandan leaves knotted (or ¼ tsp pandan extract)
- 15 g water
- pinch salt
Pandan crepe batter:
- 1 egg
- 113 ml whole milk
- 113 ml coconut milk canned
- 15 g avocado oil
- a few drops pandan extract
- 32 g all-purpose flour
- 5 g tapioca starch
- pinch sea salt
Make the coconut filling:
- In a medium saucepan, add the coconut, palm sugar (or brown sugar), knotted pandan leaves (or pandan extract), water, and a pinch of salt.
- Bring a simmer over low heat. Stir until all the coconut has been coated with the sugar and is relatively dry, with not much moisture left behind. Scoop the coconut mixture into a clean bowl and let cool.
Make the crepes:
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, milks, oil and pandan extract. Add in the flour, tapioca starch, and salt. Stir to combine, but do not overmix.
- Heat a small frying pan over medium heat.
- Pour approximately 2 Tbsp of batter into the pan and cook only on one side for about 2 minutes. Carefully remove the crepe and cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Place a pandan crepe on clean work surface.
- Take about 1 tsp of coconut filling and place it in the center of the crepe.
- Roll up the crepe and fold in the sides to enclose the filling. Place seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining crepes.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.